A versatile, cerebral character actor of British stage, screen, and TV, he worked in amateur theater for four years before making his professional stage debut in 1934; his first London appearance came in 1936. In 1938 he both joined the Old Vic company and debuted onscreen. His acting career did not, however, begin to bear much fruit until after he returned from service in World War Two (with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers). He was very busy onscreen throughout most of the '50s, playing leads in several horror films. He starred on the BBC-TV show Quartermass and the Pit. He served as President of British Actors Equity in 1973-74. He was married to actress Joan Greenwood.